Tension during ‘Mahapadyatra’ by Amaravati farmers

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Farmers and women from Amaravati participating in the ongoing ‘Mahapadyatra’ staged a sit-in on the road in Nellore district on Wednesday to protest the alleged restrictions imposed by the police. Alleging that the police are creating hurdles in their foot march, they sat on the road near Marupuru, leading to a huge traffic jam and triggering tension.

The protestors raised slogans denouncing the attempts by the police to impose restrictions.

The protest led to a nearly two km-long traffic jam, causing hardship to motorists.

The farmers and women, who are demanding that Amaravati be developed as the only state capital, resumed their ‘Mahapadyatra’ for the 31st day on Wednesday. Former minister and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leader S. Chandramohan Reddy welcomed them.

The protestors alleged that the police at the instance of the leaders of the ruling YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) were creating problems during their walkathon. They said they were denied any place for a night halt at Marupuru.

After completing the day’s programme on Tuesday, the farmers and women were scheduled to stay at an ashram in Marupuru. However, the police conveyed to them that the villagers do not want them to stay there. This forced the farmers and women to go back to Nellore and resume the padyatra from Marupuru on Wednesday.

Called ‘Court to Temple’, the walkathon from Amaravati to Tirupati began on November 1. Raising slogans of ‘Jai Amaravati’, the protestors are covering 10-15 km every day.

Organised by Amaravati Parirakshana Samithi and Amaravati Joint Action Committee (JAC), it is scheduled to reach Tirupati on December 15 after stopping at 70 villages.

The Amaravati farmers have been protesting for over 700 days against the state government’s plans for trifurcation of the state capital. With the ‘Mahapadyatra’, their protest entered a new phase.

The police restrictions on the ‘Mahapadyatra’ at a few places in Prakasam district had also evoked strong protests from the organisers.

Last week, the YSRCP government withdrew two legislations enacted last year for trifurcation of the state capital. However, the government clarified that this was done to bring new and comprehensive legislation for developing three state capitals.

The protestors have vowed to continue their protest till the government drops its plans and continues with Amaravati as the only capital.

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